Russia prepares to diagnose Nipah Virus

Head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said Russian virologists have developed a test system for detecting the Nipah henipavirus.

Ilya Pitalev | RIAN
Ilya Pitalev | RIAN

Discovered in India, Nipah Virus (NiV) causes symptoms that range from mild to severe and can include common respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, and fever), as well as encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

According to doctors, NiV mortality rate averages 55%. Fruit bats, also called flying foxes, are the main animal reservoir for NiV in nature. The virus is recognized by the WHO as deadly, but medics hope its virulence is not as high as the coronavirus’s and it is therefore unlikely to cause a pandemic.

Nevertheless, there is a risk of NiV spreading outside India, and it is important to identify NiV cases fast, as there is no treatment or vaccines for this virus, Anna Popova cautioned.

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